Press


PROFILES

“Langston Hughes Sings in ‘The Black Clown'”
——New York Times

“‘The Black Clown’ Beautifully Reconfigures a Langston Hughes Poem”
——New Yorker

“At ART, Langston Hughes Like You’ve Never Heard”
——Boston Globe

“‘The Black Clown’ Unveils America’s Three-Ring Circus of Racism”
——Boston Globe

“Little Shards of Dissonance”
——Harvard Magazine


TEASERS

“Goings-on About Town: A Music-Theatre Adaptation of Langston Hughes’s ‘The Black Clown'”
——New Yorker

“Tap Acrobatics in ‘The Black Clown'”
——New York Times


REVIEWS

“Magnificent. . . adapted by Mr. Tines and Michael Schachter from Langston Hughes’s 1931 poem, this rich, seamless production melds the past and present of African-American history into an electrifyingly ambivalent whole. . . both a bravura, in-the-moment entertainment and a haunted, self-conscious questioning of the ways in which it entertains. . . Mr. Schachter’s exquisitely layered score takes many of its musical cues from Hughes’s annotations.”
——New York Times (Ben Brantley: Critic’s Pick)

“An arresting work of music theater. . . this kind of boundary-pushing work used to be a hallmark of the Lincoln Center Festival. Now it has found a home at Mostly Mozart. I bet that Mozart, a true man of the theater, would have been proud to share the stage.”
——New York Times (Anthony Tommasini)

“A controlled explosion of joy and rage that meets desires audiences didn’t even know they had. . . [a] musical-theater tour de force. . . there’s not a flagging moment from overture to final cadence.”
——New York Magazine

“The energy and sheer talent of the show are irresistible. The music, accompanied by a brassy dance band led by Jaret Landon, and drawing on blues, soul, jazz, gospel and other historically African-American genres, is vigorous and catchy; the dancing, choreographed by Chanel DaSilva, explodes with vitality.”
——Wall Street Journal

“A remarkable new music-theater work of significance and disturbing beauty. . . ‘The Black Clown’ and its stunning production deserve a longer stint in the metropolitan area. . . Schachter’s melodic score is a hot melting pot that pours out early jazz, gospel, classic R&B, swing, and operatic styles of music, augmented by classic spirituals such as “Nobody Knows” and “Motherless Child” that are beautifully arranged and hauntingly sung. The score is resonant and dramatic, yet old-school in flavor, since the poem deals out pre-hip-hop history.”
——New York Stage Review

“Pure poetry. “The Black Clown” has made its grand entrance in a world premiere at the American Repertory Theater, with an opening night performance Wednesday that brought down the house.”
——Boston Globe

“The Black Clown is precisely why we have and need theater. . . filling the air around us with song and sight that plunges into the soul.  It’s the kind of piece that returns you to the world you entered just 70 minutes before, if not a changed person, then certainly a vastly more enlightened one.”
——WGBH Boston

“Staggering. . . astonishing. . . bringing overwhelming humanity to exactly the place where it is needed.”
——Los Angeles Times

“Incisive and persuasive. . . Hughes’s text offers annotations on music and mood for each of his 17 stanzas, and while Schachter has noted them he has gone way past them. His score features absorbing tunes in an extraordinary amalgam of styles. . . this is one of those scores so interesting and involving, you wish you could purchase it in the lobby on the way out.”
——New York Stage Review

“A work of art. . . brave, engaging, and immersive.”
——Boston Herald

“Inspiring, original music.”
——Broadway World

“Davóne Tines, who stars in the title role, and Michael Schachter, who wrote the score, have adapted Hughes’ iconic work to create something that is so much greater. . . a mind-blowing theatrical experience.”
——Theater Mirror

“Beautiful and wrenching; transfixing and indelible.”
——Edge Media Network

“An essential work of artistic bravery and truth.”
——TheaterMania.com

“The evening seared my soul. . . a brilliant collage of word, music, and movement, packing the strength, solemnity, and uplift of a prayer.”
——Joyce Kulhawik, CBS Boston

“Rhythmically complex, but poignantly lyrical. . . the bold juxtaposed against the sweetly restrained.”
——Arts Knoxville


Copyright 2013-20 by Michael Schachter. michael.schachter [at] gmail.com